Poodle acting weird

wooderlanderMarch 23, 2007

I hope this isn't a silly question. Yesterday our big brave two-year-old standard poodle Carmi went to a new groomer. The groomer said he was very good. My husband actually was there for the last bit and said Carmi was doing fine, just sitting nicely on the table while the groomer talked to him while snipping away.

After coming home with the shortest haircut he's ever had, Carmi couldn't settle down, was running all around the house back and forth frantically. Once in a while he would stop and look at me intently for a few seconds, then run around some more. He then went into his crate, which he never does unless asked, and curled up in the back. He won't go out the usual door to do his business, but will only do it when we take him out front to play.

Today he's still running around the house, and tonight he retreated to his crate again. He's eating fine and doesn't seem sick, but he has never behaved remotely like this before. I'm worried about him, though I expect he'll get back to normal.

Could he be embarrassed or traumatized? Or might we have inadvertently reinforced a new behavior by being too sympathetic when we first noticed it? He's a very smart guy in that poodle way. Does anyone have any idea what might be going on?

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Does the groomer use any drugs to calm the dogs down? Maybe something got into his system and needs to work its way out and he will be OK. It just seems like a totally calm dog at a new groomer is a little unusual.

Hope it passes soon and he's back to normal.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:09AM
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I have a 7 month old pup, he's a third poodle, a third bichon frise and a third silky terrier.
He's got long hair and I need to give him a bath in the sink maybe once a week.
Well the behavior you describe is what he does. to me it seems like they don't like being clean and they run around and rub on the carpets and try to get back to their usually messy self. that's my guess.
I haven't gone to groom him ever yet, but spring is here and it's getting warmer and i'm debating doing that.
by the way, I've been told it's because he's part poodle that he refuses to be trained and wants to pooh and pee in the house everyday!!!
I wouldnt mind an answer to that dilemma.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 1:59PM
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I think rachelneil is on to something. It could be the scent of the shampoo used. He's trying to get away from it!My first thought was that he 'feels funny' with the shorter fur.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 4:43PM
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Our maltese preens when she gets a short cut. She kind of acts like... wow, where did my hair go? She will also strut when she walks around. Bath time will make her go zoom zoom too. We always ask her Where's Daffy?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 6:05PM
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Wooderlander, I hope your poodle is back to normal. I have a Standard Poodle, too. I groom her myself because she has sensitive skin and was getting razor burn at the groomer's. The blades get VERY hot after being used a while. Check his skin on his belly, tail and face and see if there are any red places. They usually disappear after a couple days, though.

Rachelneil, my poodle was easy to housetrain. I always heard that male dogs take longer to housetrain because it takes longer to mature physically to the point where they have the control. I don't know if that's true or not. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 2:11AM
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Thank you all for your ideas. Our poodle does seem to be pretty much back to normal. If anything, he seems to have matured a bit. :) He doesn't mind being groomed at all, he's completely used to it by now, as long as someone besides me is doing it. His skin seems to be fine, no extra licking or rolling around or anything. I was just worried about him.

Also, he has been 100% housetrained since before we got him at age six months. Rachelneil, I doubt that it's the poodle in your pup that makes him hard to train. We've always had more of those problems with our little dogs, maybe because they have smaller bladders?

I really think that my DH was right, Carmi was embarrassed by his new short 'do, plus we probably did encourage his behavior at first by acting too worried and sympathetic. He probably thought we wanted him to behave like that! He is really the smartest, happiest and most fun-loving dog I've ever had in my life, just the greatest.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 2:44AM
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Rachelneil, sorry, but I had to laugh at someone telling you that it's the poodle in your pup that causes it to soil the house. I've owned poodles and poodlesx's and they've been the smartest dogs I've owned............housetraining is a breeze. From my experience I'd say it's the other two 'breeds' causing the problem. I know owners who've had trouble housetraining each of the other breeds.

I also suspected drugs may have been used since I once had a groomer use them on my dog. As mentioned earlier, sometimes the strong smelling shampoos and perfume will cause dogs to do what you described. It wasn't uncommon for me to wash my dog after bringing him home from the groomer if they used any type of fragrance on them.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 11:50AM
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My SIL has a lhaso apso that would hide underneath the couch for a few days after he would get a hair cut. I think your poodle was probaby just reacting to the "short" hair.

But it wouldn't hurt to ask the groomer about using a hypo-allergenic, unscented shampoo next time.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 3:17PM
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Are there really groomers who would medicate a dog brought in for grooming without the advance permission of the dog's people? I have never had a dog who needed to go to a groomer, so I never knew this. Is it common?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 10:58PM
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thanks for the info annz.
either way, my carpets are ruined and our home is only 6 months old!
we try punishing him, putting his nose to the soiling he did and putting him out
I put him out frequently to try to prevent those accidents as well.
as far as grooming, I have never brought him to one yet.
I wash him in the kitchen sink with dog shampoo .

Here is a link that might be useful: puppy talk/ for nature lovers

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 9:47AM
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I suggest you start all over with the housetraining. There's lots of info on the web and I've included a site below.

I'm sure you're using techniques you've been told but punishing and the nose rub is old school (yes, it's what I was taught to do also). But over the years I've learned that all it does is teach the dog not to come to you to ask to go out (fear of punishment) and to do his business where you can't see him.

I've fostered many a dog of every age and never met one that couldn't be housetrained.
Walk with them outside (don't just put them outdoors) praise them when they pee and poop and then play a game with them. Use a term, such as 'you want to go out?' each time you take him out and then use a word to encourage him to go once you're outdoors. With my dog I use 'tinkle' and 'do your business'.
I've owned my adult dog less than 2 months and he now knows what each term means. When he needs to go out he will do one of 3 things.........pace the floor, put both paws on our leg if we're sitting, or slightly touch us with his nose.
We as the owners have to learn to read a dog's body language, no matter how subtle, of when they need to go out.

The best advise I ever 'read' was that each time your dog has an accident in the house, find a newspaper....roll it up.........then hit 'yourself' in the head several times for not recognizing when the dog needed to go out!

Here is a link that might be useful: housetraining

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 12:17PM
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Actually no groomer is neither qualified nor has license to give any medication to any dog Nancy unless the groomer is a licencesed vet and without the owner´s premission... uh oh, certainly not.

I do groom dogs, unless the coat is matted up and the owner insists that he/she doesn´t want the dog to be all trimmed down I do anesthesize the dog, untangling matts can be a painful experience ( specuially when they don´t bring me a dog but a walking, barking mop ), better it not feel anything; normally I get away with trimming the dog all the way down but you know that there are ver stubborn people who not only are stubborn but also neglect the grooming, in those cases ( fortunately rare ) I do anesthesize the dog but the difference is that I´m a licensed vet and while the dog is under anesthesia it´s under my supervision.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 4:28PM
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No, pretty sure no medications were used for the grooming. We took our little female Lhasa Apso in at the same time. The groomer said that "he was as good as she was bad." Surely they both would have been "good" if they were medicated. :) This is a well-regarded groomer whom my DH "interviewed" a lot before we decided to make the appointment, I would be very surprised if anything like that happened.

I specifically requested "no doggy perfume" for the grooming. They mainly smelled clean when they got home.

Carmi is completely back to normal now and I really think it was the new short haircut that bothered him. He wasn't matted or really dirty when he went in, but he definitely was shaggy.

I agree with what Annz said about poodles and housetraining. Ours does all three of the things her dog does to indicate he needs to go out, plus he rings a little bell that I hung from the doorknob. He learned how to do this in only one day, when he was six months old.

Now I'd like to ask another question in another thread about housetraining a blind dog, and hope someone has some advice about this. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 8:13PM
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Got two blind dogs myself ( both poodles, one is the mother of the other, cataracts in both cases ), for me it wasn´t so difficult after all, they were show dogs used to be in crates for extended periods of time, crate gate opening ---> pen( they do their stuff within the next 5 min of being out of the crate ) that makes it a lot easier. Since they are blind it´s me or my wife the ones who take them to the pen, they imediately recognize the pen as the "toilet", they do their business and out of the pen. They still sleep in crates.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 8:33PM
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it is possible that the experience of sitting so long and behaving so long just made him like one of those 7 year olds that get out of school where they have to be good for too long. Their bodies were made to move and after a bath and a hari cut it probably felt a little weird to top it off. I think your dog was just having the normal afterbath puppy power surge. It might happen after every time.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 3:36PM
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